Thursday, November 12, 2009

Living off of Leftovers: Herbed Polenta

Thank goodness I cook (a lot) on the weekends! I was going to post tonight about a recipe I replicated from a meal I had in San Francisco, but as I was emptying my dishwasher when I came home from work this evening, I noticed that everything I was putting away was either tupperware or plastic-ware. (Okay, there were some wine glasses in there too.) I reflected on our week so far, and neither my husband nor I have eaten one meal at home. Each meal that we’ve respectively had has been homemade food, but they were eaten at a desk, from behind a computer screen, in the car, or on the way to a classroom. I’m so thankful that I took the time to cook up a storm on Sunday afternoon and evening, even though it resulted in us missing a previously scheduled get together with friends. We’re busy, but we’re eating well!

For my husband, I made a lot of chicken, including some balsamic marinated chicken (recipe to come). I made herbed polenta to pair with it as an accompaniment. I am a big fan of polenta, in all of its forms (soft, fried, grilled). Polenta is made with ground cornmeal, and is similar to grits. Soft polenta (like this recipe with fresh herbs) makes a nice alternative to serving mashed potatoes. If you want to speed up the cooking process, you can actually use instant polenta, cook according to the instructions on the box, and add the fresh herbs and cheese.

Herbed Polenta

(As seen on Everyday Italian)
* 6 cups water
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
* 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
* 3/4 cup whole milk
* 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
* 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
* 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring the water to a boil in a heavy large saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the cheese, milk, butter, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and pepper, and stir until the butter and cheese melt. Transfer the polenta to a bowl and serve.

1 comment:

  1. I made this dish not realizing how much it made. We had it for dinner per the recipe above but ended up 'frying' it the following 2 nights. So tasty!

    Great side dish. Thanks, Dana Victor-Brennan